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Gazing at the recent eclipse of the moon, I was minded of the magnitude of Creation and my forthcoming interview with the Big Guy upstairs, at which I will have a lot of explaining to do. The following passed through my mind.

According to legend, St Augustine was walking along the beach pondering how in the Blessed Trinity there could be three persons in the one God, when he saw a small boy pouring buckets of seawater into a hole the young boy had dug in the sand. On asking the boy what he was doing, the boy told Augustine that he was pouring all of the ocean into the hole. On telling the boy that which he was trying to achieve was impossible, Augustine was told by the boy that he would pour all of the ocean into the hole before Augustine understood the mystery of the Trinity – then disappeared.

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This painting of St. Augustine is part of the outside murals in the Augustinian monastery of Quito, Ecuador. It was done by Miguel de Santiago in 1656.

 

It is the same when you ponder the magnitude of the Universe, in which there are at least two trillion galaxies, and possibly an infinite number. Light travels at 300,000 kilometres per second, and it takes 200,000 years for light to cross our one galaxy alone, known as the Milky Way.

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There more stars in the universe than there are sand grains on Earth.  It’s estimated that there are 3 sextillion (21 zeros) stars in the universe.

Bob Brown in delivering the 2017 Green oration stated However, recent astronomy tells us that there are trillions of other planets circling Sunlike stars in the immensity of the Universe, millions of them friendly to life. So why has no one from elsewhere in the Cosmos contacted us?”

Well Bob, assuming that someone on a planet five or six galaxies away sends us a message, it could take a million years to arrive, and a further million years for the alien to receive your reply, as electromagnetic waves travel at the speed of light, and not instantaneously.

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Whenever you’re looking at the sky during the night, you’re looking at the past. Because of the huge distances, the light of the stars and galaxies that are far away – take a very long time to reach the Earth. With Hubble telescope, we can see 13 billion years in the past.

It is a real St Augustine moment trying to comprehend the mind-blowing enormity of all of this.

The earth itself is about 4.5 billion years old and like the rest of the universe is comprised of atoms, which contain protons, neutrons and electrons, all of which are made of infinitesimally smaller particles known as quarks.

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So each of us and the rest of Creation, including Biden's excreta, are merely different assemblies of quarks. An atom is comprised of rings of electrons circling its nucleus, which consists of protons and neutrons. Nuclear energy is released when the nucleus of the atom is split. We are all walking potential power stations and bombs, even Greta.

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 The earth was initially composed of magma, which is the original material from which all the basic rocks such as granite are formed, and are known as igneous rocks. Magma is still spewed out by volcanoes today. Over the billions of years, these igneous rocks when exposed, are weathered and deposited as layers under the oceans together with organic material to form sedimentary rocks, in layers called strata. This strata is visible in driving through a cutting in the sedimentary rock known as sandstone which is millions, if not billions of years old. Other sedimentary rock includes iron ore which is to be found in vast deposits in Western Australia. Three-quarters of the earth’s surface is covered by thin layers of sedimentary rocks, most of which were formed underwater over the billions of years, and exposed by upward movements in the surface of the earth.

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W.A has lots of banded iron formations. The Hamersley Range has many iron ore mines, near towns like Newman and Tom Price.

 

A third type of rocks are metamorphic rocks which are formed by igneous, sedimentary other metamorphic rocks being subjected to extremes of temperature and pressure.

The first identifiable fossils of plant and animal life are found in sedimentary rocks of the Cambrian geological era of 540 million years ago. Fossils in earlier rocks are unable to be identified because of metamorphism and covering by later layers. In the study of fossils known as paleontology, it is possible to trace the evolution of fossils over the eons up until their extinction, during which time they evolve into more ornate creatures.

But there has never been a fossil found in which fossil A becomes fossil B, such as a fish becoming a bird (or a Democrat becoming a Republican). There are so-called transitional fossils, but nothing definite. Surely if Darwin was correct, there would have at least been one confirmatory fossil found. There are many exposed fakes, such as the Piltdown Man in England, many of which originate in China.

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Who knows what awaits us after we shuffle off this mortal coil? Maybe nothingness, or maybe the continuation of eternal existence. Should it be eternal, it has been said that if the earth were transformed to a ball of steel, and if every one hundred years a dove flew past and brushed the ball with its wing, then by the time the steel ball had been worn away to nothing, it would be as if eternity had just begun.

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The threat of ex-communication and eternity in the fires of hell by the Church prior to the Reformation, kept all the European monarchs in line.

When you consider that even a leaf falling off a tree can influence history, the permutations and combinations make the chance of any one of us being here infinitesimally small. But here we are, and assuming that there is a hereafter, if we dance to the tune, we must pay the piper.

Those were my thoughts by a quark of fate, and in the words of Sir Harry Secombe

 

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